Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second.
Jack Johnson in the shootout? Yes, your eyes did not decieve you. After Alexander Frolov and Dustin Brown both failed to score on their chances, I half expected to see Drew Doughty standing at center ice for the last opportunity after logging 27:06 of TOI and making offensive rushes all over the place. But Jack Johnson? After Raitis Ivanans, he's the last guy I would have given the shot to. That seemed like a Marc Crawford move and I figured the Kings weren't going to get more than a point. I mean Jack's good, obviously, but up against Marty Turco with the game on the line? Apparently Turco has the second worst save percentage in the entire NHL, but still... I definitely would have chosen someone else.
Overall, I wasn't too disappointed with this showing because it was 10 times better than the game against the Red Wings a couple of nights ago. That game was a certified nightmare. The Kings got shut out in ugly fashion on home ice and I couldn't wait to just get home. After a long day of work and then not really being excited to go to Staples Center, I was done with the day as a whole. The Kings were toast at the first puck drop, and I'm so glad today's game was a complete turnaround. At the same time, I really thought they were going to be able to grab up two more points. The Stars haven't exactly been gang busters and the Kings have been needing that bounce back win.
The best part about this game was the goal scored by Frolov in the last 30 seconds of regulation to take it into overtime. The Stars came out in the third period and stood up to the Kings, tied the game, and then got the go-ahead. They could have easily gotten discouraged and started sinking, but effort and drive got the Kings back on the board. Overtime wasn't too thrilling and Erik Ersberg was being his solid, usual self. The shootout was a bit ...err, wasn't too thrilling either actually, and when Jack picked up the puck at the blueline, I basically wasn't expecting anything. I think of the goal actually went in, I'd be in utter shock.
Even with this current string of losses, I don't feel like the Kings are out of the playoff picture just yet and the season is in the latter half of January! Comical, I know, but I gotta look on the positive side of everything for this season. At this point last year, the Kings were horrendous and it was everything they could do to just keep their heads above the water. This season doesn't have them looking like a high school hockey team right at the start of games. Granted the last three contests have been a little... poor, they carry that mentality like they could actually take back control from any team and get a win. Because of this turnaround, I'm not pulling out my hair at every loss, shitty pass, and missed shot. I'm watching the team grow together and am just trying to figure out the line combos in every game. Speaking of line combinations, the defensive pairings were crazy with Jack back in the lineup. It looked like everyone was paired with everyone else at least once, so it'll be interesting to see how this pans out in the next couple of games.